Sandlin, OU ousts Aggies to reach the MCWS final

OMAHA, Neb. Oklahoma baseball players came to the men’s college world championships, calling themselves “David’s sweater” – a nod to the acceptance of their remaining identity after a difficult start to the season.

It was one David – David Sandlin – who received most of the recognition on Wednesday for taking down Texas A&M, the last national number one in the NCAA tournament.

Sandlin held the Aggies in one run and reached a top 12 in a seven-round career, with Jimmy Crooks’s three-run home game in the first and Oklahoma reaching the MCWS final 5: 1.

The Sooners (45-22) have won three games in a row at Charles Schwab Field in at least four races and will play their first national championship since 1994.

Their opponents will be in the top three in Arkansas or Mississippi in the final three starting on Saturday. The two teams were due to meet on Wednesday night, Ole Miss needs one win and Arkansa two to win.

As Sooners fans chanted, “OU! OU!” more Trevin Michael beat Brett Minnich to end the game against Aggies. The party was restrained.

“I think these kids are focused,” said coach Skip Johnson. “I don’t know if it’s a pile of dogs or whatever it is … It’s kind of weird sometimes. I’m not telling them not to pile up, I can tell you that.”

Texas A&M (44-20) scored 2: 2 in MCWS under first-year coach Jim Schlossnagle after 29:27, winning just nine Southeast Conference games and not even making it to the 2021 League.

The Sooners did not look like the NCAA tournament team after losing two of the first three Big 12 series and starting at 18-12. They have won 27 of 37, including 12 wins out of 14 since the end of the regular season.

Sandlin was in Sooners for the first time since graduating from college when Sooners won 13: 8 Aggies on Friday. He was marked for four races.

The purpose of this performance was to prepare Sandlin for an elevated atmosphere. That turned out to be a good plan. Sandlin said he had put too much strain on his short appearance and took a different approach on Wednesday.

“I just trusted my preparation,” he said. “It seems to me that there was more muscle memory today than anything else. Just going out and just performing, don’t think too much about things.”

Sandlin (9-4), who promised five hits and walked one on his 100-yard field, worked effectively on the outside of a sharp slider and a high-speed volleyball plate.

He scored the first three bats, five out of the first eight and 10 out of the first 20. In the fourth round, he had problems when the first two bats reached the base. He then fan Troy Claunch, Brett Minnich and Jordan Thompson on 12 pitches.

“He’s just able to shuffle all his squares,” Claunch said. “He was able to catch up early with the fast balls and then next time he was able to mix and throw whatever he wanted.”

Texas A&M founder Ryan Prager (1-4) promised four races with 2⅓ innings, three of which he earned. Jacob Palisch crossed the rest of the way, making three hits and running, and scored eight.

Aggies beat Texas and Notre Dame to reach the finals. But they couldn’t score against Sandlin until Dylan Rock hit the center-left in sixth place.

Sandlin then interrupted the last six bats he faced and turned the game closer to Trevin Michael to start in eighth place.

Sooners led Crooks in the fourth home game of the NCAA in the first home game in the first and in the ninth game of the season 3-0 and added single races in the third and fifth. The OU has not lagged behind in its MCWS games.

“Over the last six and seven days, they have proven to be the best team in our class – at least playing the best baseball,” said Schlossnagle. “Very, very consistent starting shot, defense, timely hits.”

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